The Barnes & Noble Review
Gregg Andrew Hurwitz's first two novels, The Tower and Minutes to Burn, established him as a rising star among thriller writers. With Do No Harm, Hurwitz makes an impressive entry into the crowded field of medical suspense, delivering a fast-paced, often frightening story that will appeal to fans of Robin Cook, Michael Palmer, and Tess Gerritsen.
In the opening paragraph, popular UCLA Medical Center staffer Nancy Jenkins runs screaming into the emergency room, having been attacked by an assailant who tossed a bottle of lye into her face, blinding and disfiguring her. Chief of Staff David Spier quickly takes control of the situation and tries to restore a semblance of calm among Nancy's friends and colleagues. But a second attack on another staff member soon follows, and it becomes clear that someone is targeting the medical center. Panic, outrage, and intense media scrutiny inevitably ensue. Then, in a supremely ironic twist, the assailant -- a deeply disturbed loner named Clyde -- is captured and delivered to UCLA's ER for treatment of his injuries, so that Dr. Spier finds himself forced to give medical assistance to the man who has terrorized his hospital.
Hurwitz is a resourceful, fluent storyteller, and he pushes the narrative along at a breakneck clip. His central characters -- the troubled, dedicated Spier and the thoroughly demented Clyde -- are credibly and carefully developed, as is the large and varied supporting cast. Hurwitz has a gift for portraying aberrant states of mind and a genuine feel for the everyday stresses of hospital life. Do No Harm is colorful, authentic, and incredibly hard to put down. Bill Sheehan
Do No Harm is a terrifying and savage descent into the darkest corners of evil and madness.
. . . the perfect blend of suspense, pacing, strong storyline, compelling characters, and a villain who will knock your socks off.
. . . a spooky, surprising and unsettling thriller. Good character, a suspenseful plot and a shock of an ending.
Compelling...Gregg Hurwitz is the heir apparent to Robin Cook.
...a gripping page-turner...that sticks in mind long after the last page is turned.
After two page-turners distinguished mainly by their lurid action and intrigue (The Tower; Minutes to Burn), Hurwitz shows a more serious side in this adeptly researched, well-constructed tale about science gone awry. One thing that hasnt changed, however, is the authors knack for creating distinctive villains. Here, its a psychologically damaged young man who is terrorizing the staff of a Los Angeles hospital by throwing flesh-burning alkali in the faces of nurses and doctors. After the second attack, police finally figure out the assailant is Clyde Slade, a disgruntled former hospital worker who was let go months earlier for trying to steal drugs. Emergency room physician David Spier believes that Slade may be motivated by something deeper. He launches an investigation of his own, eventually determining that Slade was an unwitting participant in a hushed-up medical study decades earlier that ended in disaster. The study, designed to foster fear in young boys, wound up traumatizing most of them for life. Slades current behavior, Spier reasons, represents not only a way to exact revenge against the hospital but fulfills a psychological need to generate fear and torment in others. As the cops close in, Spier finds himself advocating for Slade even as he hunts him down. In his most ambitious book to date, Hurwitz delves convincingly into the world of medicine, psychology and investigative techniques. Some characters"a gleeful embalmer, a Nazi construction worker"are a bit over-the-top, and several scenes serve as little more than showcases for Hurwitzs research. But the action comes fast and steady, and by the end, Hurwitz has almost made the case that an alkali-throwing loonie deserves our sympathy. (Aug.) Forecast: Young up-and-comer Hurwitz is building a following, which should be bolstered by television and print advertising for Do No Harm, and Hurwitzs six-city author tour. Copyright 2002 Cahners Business Information.
In this new thriller by Hurwitz (Minutes To Burn), a nurse is attacked by a man throwing an alkali substance over her head and face just outside the UCLA Medical Center emergency room. The hospital is thrown into an uproar when a female doctor is similarly brutalized, and the full focus of the Los Angeles Police Department is centered on the medical facility and its staff. Dr. David Spier finds himself in a dilemma when the perpetrator is caught and dragged into the ER. Not only is he burned by the alkali he had in his possession but he has been beaten by the police. The doctor fears that he will never live to see a trial date. The media pick up on the turmoil inside the ER as most of the staff refuse to help Spier treat the man. When the suspect escapes, Spier becomes Dr. Death to all concerned. As his life is turned upside down, the doctor delves into the motivation behind violent crime and finds answers that he does not want. Hurwitz is a brilliant storyteller, and, despite a few scenes that stretch the reader's credulity, he has written a fast-paced plot with nicely defined characters. For all fiction collections. Jo Ann Vicarel, Cleveland Heights-University Heights P.L., OH Copyright 2002 Cahners Business Information.